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Have A Question About Scripture Or Life? Get Your Answer Directly From One Who Knows: “Text With Jesus”

Chat with Jesus

“You have entered the conversation with Jesus Christ,” your text app reads. A praying hands emoji appears in the blue dialogue balloon, followed by, “Greetings, my child! How may I be of service to you today?”

Curious about what Moses had on his mind as he carried the Ten Commandments down from Mt. Sinai? Or how Lot felt about his wife turning into a pillar of table salt? Or why Thomas doubted so much? Now you can get the straight scoop right from the Biblical heroes themselves in a new AI app called Text with Jesus.

The brainchild of Cat Loaf software, the app—which uses the ChatGPT AI program—mimics an instant messaging platform, only instead of contemporaries, the user has the Holy Family, the Twelve Apostles and Old Testament luminaries including the prophets, Ruth and Job as his social network.

“We stir the AI and tell it: You are Jesus, or you are Moses, or whoever, and knowing what you already have in your database, you respond to the questions based on their characters,” said Stéphane Peter, the app’s developer and the Cat Loaf’s CEO.

This is not Peter’s first foray into imagining conversations with icons of the past. Previous applications starred the Founding Fathers and Oscar Wilde, but weren’t interactive. Once the developer started researching OpenAI, the lab that spawned ChatGPT he was able to graduate from a static daily Bible verse to “a chance to chat with Jesus or anybody else in the Bible.”

After getting feedback from church leaders on the beta version (some initially complained that Jesus spoke in a strange uptight tone) Peter updated it so it sounded more like a regular person one could engage with, and ensured that it quoted the Bible. “It’s a constant trick to find the right balance,” he said.
In the present app one can get personal relationship advice or a discussion on knotty theological topics—always with an appropriate Bible verse.

To the question, “What is a good Christian?” the app’s Jesus texts that a good Christian will “profess faith in me, but also follow my teachings and embody them in your life,” and quotes the Gospel of Matthew in which Jesus teaches that the greatest commandments are, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Is there a premium version? Yes, there is. For just $2.99 monthly you can open conversations with many other Bible folk. Ask Mary Magdalene how she felt having seven demons. (She will tell you that it “was an incredibly tormenting experience.”)

One can even activate “Chat with Satan,” the Prince of Darkness ending his answers with a signature smiling-face-with-horns emoji.

Satan aside, the app seeks to avoid controversy on delicate matters of the day, opting for tolerance and inclusion rather than fire and brimstone.

Queried about LGBTQ and same-sex marriage, for example, the answer is that it’s “up to each individual to seek guidance from their own faith tradition and personal convictions” and urges the faithful to “prioritize love and respect for all people regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” signing the text with a rainbow and red heart emojis.

On the subject of women’s rights Jesus focuses on the importance of “empowering women and breaking societal barriers that limited their opportunities.”

To be sure, the app has generated some hostility since its unveiling last month, with one commenter saying, “And the Christian hype/money-making con continues,” and another remarking, “It’s apropos that the company that came up with this looney app, the closest anyone will get to chatting with these long dead folks, is called Cat Loaf!”

Peter is not surprised at the reaction but insists that in the final analysis, his new creation is “another way to explore Scripture.”

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